In the Heat of the Night (1988–1995)

TV Series  |   |  Drama, Crime, Mystery
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In Sparta, Mississippi, a crusty Police Chief (later Sheriff) and his African American Chief Detective investigate crimes.

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8   7   6   5   4   3   2   1  
1995   1994   1993   1992   1991   1990   … See all »
Nominated for 7 Golden Globes. Another 4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Chief William O. 'Bill' Gillespie / ... (146 episodes, 1988-1995)
...
 Capt. V.L. 'Bubba' Skinner / ... (146 episodes, 1988-1995)
David Hart ...
 Officer Parker Williams / ... (146 episodes, 1988-1995)
Hugh O'Connor ...
 Lt. Lonnie Jamison / ... (146 episodes, 1988-1995)
...
 Chief of Detectives Virgil Tibbs / ... (121 episodes, 1988-1994)
...
 Althea Tibbs (119 episodes, 1988-1993)
...
 Sgt. Wilson Sweet / ... (110 episodes, 1988-1993)
...
 Officer Luann Corbin / ... (102 episodes, 1989-1995)
...
 Officer Charlie Peake / ... (86 episodes, 1989-1995)
Dee Shaw ...
 Cpl. Dee Shepard / ... (85 episodes, 1989-1995)
...
 Officer Randy Goode (81 episodes, 1989-1993)
...
 Harriet DeLong / ... (69 episodes, 1989-1995)
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Storyline

Bill Gillespie is a police chief in a small town in the American South, and later becomes sheriff of the county. As Bill tries to solve crimes and catch criminals, aided by his capable investigator Virgil Tibbs and police lieutenant Bubba Skinner, he must navigate tricky small-town politics. Racial tensions often run high in the South and this theme is frequently explored. Bill's personal life is often portrayed in this TV drama, as well. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Crime | Mystery

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

6 March 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

In der Hitze der Nacht  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(150 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The population of Sparta is 11,700. See more »

Quotes

Bill Gillespie: I'll stay here and round up a posse, in case I feel the need to cut anybody off at the pass.
See more »

Connections

Followed by In the Heat of the Night: A Matter of Justice (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

In the Heat of the Night
Music by Quincy Jones
Lyrics by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman
Arranged by Christopher Page (as Chris Page)
Performed by Bill Champlin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Carroll O'Conner's last series was a good one!
6 May 2006 | by (Camilla, GA) – See all my reviews

Though most will forever remember O'Conner for his Emmy-winning turn as "Archie Bunker" in the classic "All in the Family," his last television role on the long-running "In the Heat of the Night" was still equally as memorable. Inspired by the Oscar-winning film, starring Rod Steiger and Sidney Poitier, the show dealt with the police force of the mythical town of Sparta, Missisippi, headed by Chief Bill Gillespie with transplanted Philedelphian Virgil Tibbs, new and black to a force that was unprepared for such a high-ranking black. Though the first couple of episodes dealt with the adjustments that had to made with the new man on the force, the racial tension in the department was soon eliminated as both The Chief and Tibbs, along with other policemen (the superb Alan Artry as "Bubba," David Hart as the down-home, tea-drinking "Parker," Geoffrey Horne" and Hugh O'Conner as the young cops, "Sweet" and "Lonnie Jameson," respectively) came to respect and trust each other.

Many of the shows dealt with timely topics as A.I.D.S., spousal abuse, rape, and corrupt politicians. One of the series' most powerful episodes is "A Trip Upstate," wherein Chief Gillespie is asked to attend the execution of a criminal (guest star Paul Benjamin) that he caught years before. The riveting execution is quite detailed and the dialog-less performances by O'Conner and Benjamin are Emmy-worthy. The eye contact between the two actors is unbelievably intense. Whether one is pro or con on the topic of capital punishment, this particular installment should have some effect, one way or the other.


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